Tag Archives: Zara

In Transition

28 Sep

The leaves have started falling, the mornings are dark. I’m still gripping onto the last moments of summer with the senseless optimism of wearing sandals every day, but I know there will come a day within the next fortnight that the desire to wear a coat and a pair of boots will overrule. The shops are ready. Oxford Street is already a vision of cosiness and autumnal sophistication.


Coats have never been cooler.




A glimpse into the home of the Topman guy



Intergalactic cool



A good yarn…




Painted ladies





Think Outside the Box

20 Mar

A couple of weeks ago whilst popping to Harvey Nicks for lunch, I spied a striking scheme at the Knightsbridge Topshop. With a beachy, Talented Mr Ripley kind of feel to it, it merely consists of mannequins standing inside wooden frames. So simple, so chic.



With the Zara at Knightsbridge currently under refurbishment, I then headed up to Oxford Street to get my Zara fix. As usual, a wonderful window – also featuring mannequins standing in wooden frames!





Check out the Mexican sugar skull-style face paint!




A Thoroughly British Summer

17 Jun

The Jubilee may be over (sob!) but the Great British High Street shows no signs of abaiting the patriotic feel. There’s untold mileage in a string of bunting!

Here’s a few things of my favourite things I’ve snapped recently.


I don’t know much about this department store in Windsor (is it a chain?) but their Regal display was fit for a Queen!

BELOW: an independant shop in South Kensington, exclusively selling Royal-themed tat in would seem. I imagine they’ve been doing a good trade recently. 


Nailing not only the bunting trend by the white-on-white trend too. So elegant, nice lighting too.


The Liberty pop-up at Stratford’s Westfield is small but delightful. An excellent place to buy gifts for sophisticated people.


Thier current scheme is basically a rip-off of Meadham Kirchhoff’s S/S12 but delightful nonetheless.

…And here’s the best of the rest. I had a backlog of images on my camera of pre-Jubilee windows, so here they are too.


Their scheme from last month with plenty of tie-dye and pink wigs. Have a feeling someone might have been listening to Hole when they came up with this.



Lace and neon: nailed. Bershka is a serious one to watch for Visuals.



Smurf alert.

A Candy Jubilee

23 May

Zara often has strong, high-impact window schemes, but the store at Oxford Street West seem to be where the window dressers of the company get the chance to showcase their creative outpourings. It is always a store I go out of my way to see what they’re doing and am normally wowed: now is no exception. I am totally obsessed with these wonderful windows!





Window Round-Up

28 Apr

WAREHOUSE – There’s a sophisticated simplicity to this ‘Day Out’ concept.

OASIS – How fun is this scheme? ‘The Printcess and the Pea’, is a real stop and look window. I wish they had maybe used some prints that were more on-trend (baroque or geometric) to prevent it from drifiting into twee territory.


TOPSHOP – there’s a lot of jungle action going on on the high street right now and Topshop is no exception. Particularly love the butterflies above the trees.



Sunflowers, Spaceships and Flowerpots

16 Mar

Thought I’d share some of the lovely Visuals spotted on my travels recently.

Forever 21 Oxford St, London have upped their game with this window display. Pastel coloured furniture and lace decals and depth and dimension to this high window that some of their previous schemes have lacked – hope to see more great stuff from them in the future.

Paint drips frame these dressmakers’ mannequins. High impact and generally a pleasure to look at on the otherwise drab Regents Street.

COS, Regent Street. These upside-down plant pots made me do a double take. Love a bit of bonkers.

This is my favourite of the Liberty childrenswear windows currently on display, the colours are lovely and the hanging spaceships are so incredibly detailed they look like they’re on hire from NASA!

Massimo Dutti on Regents Street has a sophisticated Palm Springs vibe.

Desigual, Oxford St. I’m rarely a fan of their OTT schemes, but their mannequin hair and make-up is often wonderfully creative. These wigs couldn’t fail to catch my eye.

I’ve seen this scheme at a few branches of Zara including Regents Street (though this is a photo of the Windsor store – shame about the dropped clutch bag on the floor!) Such minimalism is hard to pull off but with a dramatic composition like this and fantastic styling, it makes a great statement.

Call Dale Winton – a River Island supermarket sweep would be right up my street!

Spring Sights

16 Feb

Various things that have inspired me whilst out and about recently.

Zara Oxford St West, inspiring as ever with hoverring Matrix-posed mannequins. Bonus points for the industrial fans blasting onto their hair.

Topshop: neon strip lighting in the windows (lot of that about at the minute, isn’t there) and slightly bonkers ostrich-riding mannequins inside the store.

Liberty’s glitzy windows, showcasing Spring pieces from some of the designers at London Fashion Week. Clockwise from top left: Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto and Jonathan Saunders.

A reconstruction of a church wall in Mexico, covered with notes and dedications to saints, at the Miracles & Charms exhbition at the Wellcome Collection, Euston. I highly recommend it, find out about it here.  

View along the Southbank.

Delightful little cross-stitch at a punky interiors shop on the rude de St-Horore in Paris.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

28 Nov

Some of my fave festive window schemes from the high street this year:

Above: Zara Oxford St West puts on 3 different shows, from puppets to demonic horns to sparkly chic

Above: Zara Oxford Circus puts on a gothic & beautiful still-life piece of theatre, like a mysterious scene from Hansel & Gretal.

Above: John Lewis creates minimal elegance with a Scandinavian feel, even down to the detail of the pricing signs being framed in wood and nailed onto a tree.

Above: Topshop Oxford Circus goes for a simple White Christmas, with the real drama being in the styling.

Above: H&M also goes for a White Christmas. I’m hoping this scheme will develop over the coming weeks.

Above: Not especially festive but I just love Oasis on Argyll Street. The styling’s great, the mannequins are beautiful, the scheme is striking. Can’t wait to see what they do next!

Browsing Time: ZARA

18 Jun

I was in a group interview situation this week (more about that another day!) with about 20 other high street VMs from London and a discussion was initiated about who we thought provides the leading Visuals on the high street… I was a little surprised to hear most of them say Zara. Windows? Of course they’re everyone’s favourite. But in-store, really? Clearly I need to be educated in the phenomenon of Zara.

Above are some examples of the Oxford St Zaras’ windows so far this year. All are fun, colourful, attention grabbing: the sort of windows high street brands should be creating. It frustrates me slightly that the windows, so quirky and full of personality, aren’t reflected inside the stores’ sparse interiors.

 The interior of the stores, which sort of remind me of a bedroom in a show home, tie together a small number of pieces to build an outfit – including shoes and jersey layers on a table in front (which is often a dishevelled heap.) The way they bring everything together for may seem like a commercial slum-dunk but as shoppers of all ages become more and more style savvy through blogs, free newspapers and celebrity culture, it becomes patronising and tiresome to suggest that a shopper may like to purchase a look wholesale right down to the shoes and bracelet.  The way the stores often drift into Sale or Childrenswear at the back with no distinct differentiation from the main lines is also incredibly confusing.

The reserved maturity of its sister company Massimo Dutti has clearly been the key influence on Zara’s  interiors.  For the older target market of that store, I think their retail design concept is bang on: the stores seem to drip with luxury.  On the whole though, the Zara product, though sophisticated, is younger, and I’d love to see Zara create a stronger distinction from its older sister, without drifting into the nightclub territory of Bershka. Why can’t the interior ‘wardrobe’ walls be colourful?  Different coloured corners of the shop for different trends? What about patterned flooring? Less sterile lighting at least? If the magic of the windows could trickle inside the store just a little, the excitement wouldn’t be left at the door.

So, do you agree with the assertion that Zara provides the best visuals on the high street?

Further reading:

Mary Portas’ experience of Zara – the Telegraph

How Zara has upped the stakes for fast Fashion – Harvard University

Zara post 10% profit boost in profits – Evening Standard

The Secrets of Zara’s Success – the Telegraph